In the past three months, a lot has happened in the project. The trainings in the Escuelas de Campo continued as before. In the meantime, about 473 families are taking part in these trainings. And 183 families from 16 villages are involved in the cultivation of Tara. In addition, we were able to carry out a detailed monitoring of the project's progress and the situation in the families for the first time. For this purpose, a questionnaire was developed in advance and with the help of the monitoring app developed by Aktion Sodis, the survey was then carried out on site.
In addition, a community fund was set up to provide financial support to families who want to start their own business.
In our project work in Germany, we have also been focusing more on the issue of gender equality in recent weeks and are developing a strategy to achieve our goals in this regard. In the course of this, we also held an extensive workshop with our partner organisation to ensure that our ideas on this topic are the same.
Finally, there was a personnel change at our partner organisation on the ground in Bolivia. From now on, it is no longer Antonia Oporto but Lily Negrete who is responsible for the training of the families in the ECAs.
At the end of the old year, the new seedlings were planted by the families in December, after they had to acclimatise beforehand. Training for these families has continued over the last three months. The small sewing business set up in the summer also continues to operate.
In the last three months, some planning has also taken place at the organisational level regarding the way forward for the project. For example, a procedure was developed for monitoring both the growth and condition of the plants and the successes in terms of equality. The former will be done by the local experts on site and by means of the app developed by Aktion Sodis. The latter will be collected through direct interviews with a representative number of families by the technicians.
In addition, a process has been designed to provide financial support to families to purchase tools and materials. It is envisaged that each family will be provided with an amount in a virtual account from which they can procure materials or tools. They have to pay back this amount later and from the amount paid back, another family is enabled to have a virtual account. For the beginning, 20 so-called model families are to be selected, which are also part of the other projects of Aktion Sodis and are thus to actas role models for the other families.
As a result of the Corona pandemic and the efforts of Aktion Sodis to promote the implementation of hygiene measures on the ground in Micani, some women have been forced to manufacture face masks.
At the beginning of the operation, eight women were involved, but the number was reduced to four. In total, more than 700 masks were sewn by the women involved. Preparations are also underway for the distribution of the new Tara seedlings.
At the beginning of November, 4500 new Tara seedlings will be delivered by the partner organisation SOCODEVI to Micani, where they will have to acclimatise for a week before being distributed to the families. This will be accompanied by training courses on how to grow the plants with the 120 new families.
For the 34 families who have been growing Tara plants since last year, garden shears have been purchased to enable them to prune the trees for optimal growth.
In the first half of March, the next training sessions were held in the six Escuelas de Campo (ECA) that had been set up.
However, due to the outbreak of Corona and the measures subsequently imposed by the Bolivian government, work was severely restricted in the second half of March and in April. The planned training courses were not carried out due to the ban on assembly.
Our work was then fully focused on the dissemination of knowledge about hygiene to counteract the possible spread of the virus in the region.
Due to the relaxation of the measures by the Bolivian government, activities for the project could be resumed from May onwards.
The implementation of training courses in the six ECAs was continued. ECAs were also set up in eight other municipalities, bringing the total number to fourteen ECAs. In May and June, a needs assessment was also carried out to extend the Tara programme to more families and communities and to increase the tree population of families already participating.
A new car was also purchased at the end of June, which will significantly increase the mobility of the technicians in their work in the field.
In Germany, work began in mid-June on the creation of the logical framework for the project. Based on this, the next step is to revise the monitoring of the project.
In December the pilot phase of the Qhari Warmi project started with 31 families from 3 villages. Originally 34 families wanted to take part, but 3 families dropped out before the start.
In the course of this, almost 1000 Tara seedlings were brought from Chuquisaca to Micani in early December. A community garden was set up in each of the three villages where the families planted the trees after a short acclimatization period supported by our agricultural expert Lilliana.
In addition, so-called Escuelas de Campo were established in the three villages. Translated this means "schools in the country". The idea behind this is that the training courses no longer take place centrally in one place in the region, but decentrally in the individual villages, so that the women can also participate. The participants are trained there on the topic of equality and in the cultivation and handling of the Tara plant, but also on topics related to our other projects, such as health, hygiene and nutrition.
Currently there are concrete plans to extend the Escuelas de Campo to three more villages.
Furthermore, together with an expert from our partner organisation SOCODEVI, a teaching concept for the training in handling Tara is being developed.
A first monitoring of the Tara plant was carried out in February as well. The main aim of this was to check whether the plants are able to cope with the conditions in Micani, which is fortunately the case. In the next step, we will now develop our own monitoring concept so that we can also include the other aspects of the project - gender equality and income generation.
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